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Author Archives: feliciansistershaiti

About feliciansistershaiti

Proclaming the Word of God ever more fully as the heart of our commitment to justice and peace and the best means to raise the dignity of the human person, especially women and children.

Keep praying for for Haiti

Haitian President Jovenel Moise has broken his silence after eight days of violent protests during which protesters demanded his resignation.

“I hear you,” Moise said in an evening address to the nation, televised on the national television station, TNH, and streamed live on Facebook.

“I will never betray you. You are the reason I ran for president. I’m working for you,” he vowed, reminding the country’s most underprivileged citizens that like them, he, too, came from humble beginnings.

Moise has been widely criticized by politicians and citizens alike for failing to publicly respond to the demands of the people. He has also been vilified for his government’s lack of transparency and its ineffectiveness.

Economic hardship

Protesters nationwide have criticized soaring prices, sky-high inflation and corruption, which have led to worsening living conditions for many.

Moise sought to diminish tensions by saying he understands the frustrations that led to the mass protests. Progress takes time, especially for the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere, he said.

Demonstrators flee as Haitian police open fire during clashes in the center of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, Feb. 13, 2019.Demonstrators flee as Haitian police open fire during clashes in the center of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, Feb. 13, 2019.

The president announced that he has taken a series of measures to make life better for Haitians and has asked Prime Minister Jean Henry Ceant to communicate those measures and apply them immediately. After his speech he tweeted that the prime minister would announce new economic measures on Friday.

“The crisis we are confronting is extremely serious,” Moise said. “The people took to the streets in July 2018 to demand change. I heard you. That’s why I chose an electoral rival — notary public Jean Henry Ceant — as my prime minister. Five months later, the crisis has worsened and it threatens the very foundation of this nation.”

Moise warned those who seek to “force the country in a direction that is not in our interest” that they will not succeed. He said only a multiparty dialogue can solve the current crisis.

Senate Leader Carl Cantave Murat echoed that opinion earlier Thursday during a midday press conference.

Protesters undeterred

According to VOA Creole’s reporter in Port-au-Prince, gunfire rang out in various neighborhoods as soon as the president’s speech ended.

Reaction on Facebook immediately following the address was mixed. The 1,000 comments left on TNH’s Facebook page ranged from “finally” and “nice address darling” to “why did it take you so long to say something?” and “is he serious?”

VOA Creole reporters say protesters were back in the streets Thursday night, seemingly undeterred by the president’s address. The national police, PNH, are using tear gas, according to reports.

Meanwhile, in Washington the State Department has raised its travel alert for Haiti to level 4, the most serious. “Do not travel, due to crime and unrest,” the advisory reads.

Matiado Vilme and Florence Lisene in Port-au-Prince, and State Department correspondent Nike Ching contributed to this report.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Pray for Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Sporadic gunfire echoed through the streets of Port-au-Prince on Monday as the government remained silent in the face of protests that have paralyzed the Haitian capital and triggered rising violence.

The normally traffic-clogged streets were largely empty as schools, shops and municipal offices were shuttered for fear of more violence that has already left several people dead and an air of uncertainty hanging over the government of President Jovenel Moise.

Barricades have sprung up in some areas of the capital and other cities, as protesters have taken to the streets demanding the president step down over reports of mismanagement and possible embezzlement of development funds in the impoverished Caribbean nation.

After a quiet but tense start to the day, hundreds of youths from the capital’s poorer quarters marched toward Petionville, the wealthiest neighborhood in Port-au-Prince, throwing stones at houses until police opened fire with tear gas rounds to break up the march.

Police also thwarted an attempt to attack a bank during the demonstration, dragging away several blood-stained suspects and making five arrests. 

Since the opposition organized widespread demonstrations last week to mark two years of Moise’s presidency, smaller and more spontaneous protests have broken out in key urban centers.

In some places, young men have erected barricades and seized bypassers for ransom, while vehicles have been torched, and shops damaged and looted, creating a climate of fear and intimidation alongside the opposition protests.

Taking advantage of the chaos, there was some looting Monday — but traders still felt anger only toward the president.

“What we are enduring today is because of Jovenel (Moise)… they are hungry,” said Joseph, whose stock of fish was totally depleted, of those who stole his goods.

“By selling what they took from me, they are going to be able to relieve their families a bit.”

“We don’t have good leaders: if there was work in the country, this would never have happened,” he said.

Demonstrators are demanding Moise quits over a scandal centering on the Petrocaribe fund, under which Venezuela supplied Haiti and other Caribbean and Central American countries with oil at cut-rate prices and on easy credit terms for years.

Investigations have shown that nearly $2 billion from the program were misused.

A report released in January on the misuse of the money also named a company that was then headed by Moise as a beneficiary of funds from a road construction project that never had a signed contract. 

During his election campaign, Moise promised “food on every plate and money in every pocket,” yet most Haitians still struggle to make ends meet and face inflation that has risen 15 percent since his election.

‘A DANGER AND A THREAT’

“We call on the police to arrest Jovenel Moise because he represents a danger and a threat to the life of every Haitian,” said Andre Michel, one of the main opposition leaders.

“He no longer has any legitimacy: the country will remain deadlocked until Jovenel Moise resigns.”

A mediation group composed of a senior UN official, the ambassadors of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and the United States, and representatives of Spain, the EU and the Organization of American States, has called on Haiti’s politicians to enter dialogue over the crisis, lamenting the loss of life and damage caused by the protests.

The US State Department expressed concern for its personnel in the country.

“The safety and security of our personnel and their families is our top priority. We are monitoring the security situation in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” a spokesperson said, declining to discuss any potential security measures.

“We are prepared to do the things we need to do to make sure we keep our people safe.”

The Haitian administration has remained mute in the face of rising unrest over the past five days, with only Eddy Jackson Alexis, the secretary of state for communication, issuing a brief statement on Twitter.

“The government recognizes the right of every person to demonstrate and exercise their rights according to the law, but looting shops, blocking streets, burning tires, smashing car windows or throwing oil on the road do not fall into that category,” he said.

While the government has offered no response to the demands of demonstrators, opposition groups have also failed to spell out any concrete solution to the crisis, beyond calling for the president to step aside. 

“We are facing the biggest crisis since 2008,” said Haitian economist Etzer Emile, recalling riots that rocked the country a decade ago.

After racking up a record budget deficit of 24 billion gourdes ($306 million) in 2018, the government can no longer fund social welfare programs without slashing spending. 

“There is no magic wand, but if we do not close the valve on government spending, we won’t be going anywhere,” said Emile. 

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Jesus, I trust in you!

You may remember a story in a past blog about a man from Michigan who has a mission to send the Divine Mercy image to places in the world which are poor. We have joined him in this mission by getting the images in the churches in the Diocese of Jacmel.

On Monday, January 21, we were able to help place the image of Divine Mercy in our Cathedral Church. Jean Philip was awesome, as he knew exactly how to hang the large image perfectly.

Of course, we finished after dark so it got very tricky to see. So, on Sunday, we will take a photo again!

For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Jesus, I trust in you!

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Picking cotton…

We have our own cotton trees! So many new things to learn!

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him. (Mark 1:27)

“In their synagogue was a man with an unclean spirit; he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” Jesus rebuked him and said, “Quiet! Come out of him!” The unclean spirit convulsed him and with a loud cry came out of him. All were amazed….”

As we continue to live each day in the mess of the repairs, it is so easy to get discouraged; and the feeling of being destroyed can get overwhelming. I thank God for the gift and grace of the Word of God and the Blessed Sacrament in our midst. Since our convent is in repairs and the chapel covered in plastic, we made a small chapel in the rooms of the Volunteer House. Here we can have our meditation and prayers and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. It is here that we can put all of this disruption into perspective.

The devil is always trying to get the best of us, but the power of Jesus Christ is greater and victorious. Discouragement and frustration is a great tactic of satan. Today we choose Christ who lives with us and among us. Jesus lives in us here and is stronger than satan.

The work continues…

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

A community activity after clean up…

In the midst of all this work in the convent, our little community takes time to make ji maniok, a juice made from the root of a yam, milk, sugar and cinnamon.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Demolition time…

This is what it feels like…demolition time. With cracks coming from the ceiling and around the windows, construction people are repairing walls in every building. They started with the convent on Friday, January 11. Little did we know about what it meant to repair walls and all the dust it entails. Thank God this is all in a year warranty of construction!

When everything is repaired, it will need to be re-painted. This is just the first of five buildings. All our activities are at a standstill due to do the process.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2019 in Uncategorized